The ultimate human error is to forget Krsna and miss the flight back to Godhead.
After a recent airliner crash, in vestigating officials ruled out "human error" as a possible cause. But it wasn't apes who designed, constructed, flew, and serviced the aircraft. Clearly some human screwed up. Who's to blame, and what did they do wrong?
A plane crash brings the newspapers a windfall of poignant tragedies … the young mother and children waiting for the father who grabbed an early flight so he could meet them at the airport … the adolescent girl on her first plane trip leaving her grieving parents with a room full of stuffed animals … the happy family on the way home from a vacation … the local high school turned into a morgue.
Officials vigorously investigate, ho ping to learn something to prevent future tragedies. This may lift the dead to technological martyrdom. Still, some of the mourning may blame God for this inhuman error. If an all powerful, all good God exists, how could He sanction this wholesale suffering?
As one popular theologian explains, when bad things happen to good people it's not God's intent, just His mistake. A true believer forgives God His occasional lapses. To err is divine, to forgive humane.
A devotee of Lord Krsna knows that God, Krsna, is beyond mistakes, imperfections, illusion, and cheating. A devotee also knows that there are no good people, and that nothing bad happens to anyone. Why?
Lord Krsna explains that all living beings are born into illusion, overcome by desire and hate. He does not cause anyone's suffering in the world of birth and death, nor does He create the world itself, for that matter. The material world exists only due to His parts and parcels, we living beings, who show up here to enjoy life without Krsna, and end up suffering our own karma.
The human error is to forget Krsna. And the human tragedy is to miss the flight back to Godhead.
Out of His compassion, Lord Krsna makes it easy for us to return to Him. All we need do is chant His holy name.
If we practice chanting we can remember Krsna at death. Then our eternal souls will go back to Him instead of back for another trip around the cycle of birth and death.
Suppose you were on that plane. You're sitting back, enjoying your flight, your safety belt securely fastened, observing the no smoking sign, your carry on luggage safely stowed in the overhead rack above your seat. Then, "THUNK" … something breaks.
The plane reels out of control. Flight attendants fall over the complimentary beverage cart. You now have thirty seconds to live.
You realize thirty seconds isn't much, but it's more notice than a lot of people get.
You remember the great king Pariksit, who learned he'd die in seven days and at once dropped everything to hear and chant about Krsna. You now have fifteen seconds left. All around you, panicking passengers scream hysterically, not knowing what to do. If you're Krsna conscious, you're ready for this. Are you? Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Kalakantha Dasa is the author of The Song Divine (a poetic rendition of Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad gita As It Is) and a forthcoming edition of Srimad Bhagavatam in the same format. He lives with his family in La Crosse, Florida